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Black sesame ice cream

15 August 2015

This is a popular Japanese ice cream recipe that get its colour from ground black sesame seeds.

Japanese black sesame ice cream
Black sesame ice cream is a popular flavour in Japan. It gets its colour from grinding down toasted black sesame seeds.

Cooking time

25 minutes


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250ml cream
  • 250ml full cream milk
  • 150g sugar
  • 80g black sesame seeds
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Pinch salt


1. Slowly heat the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant.

2. Grind the seeds using a pestle and mortar and put aside.

3. Place the milk and vanilla essence in a medium heavy-based saucepan.

4. Heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the milk just comes to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale.

6. Very gradually stir the milk into the egg mixture.

7. Place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Don't allow the bowl to touch the water as the eggs will scramble.

8. Cook, stirring constantly, for 25 minutes or until the custard coats the back of the spoon.

9. Slowly combine the mixture with the cream and stir through the black sesame.

10. If using an ice cream maker, process the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions and then transfer to an airtight container and freeze.

11. If not using an ice cream maker, transfer to an airtight container and freeze until almost frozen. Then use a stick blender to beat the ice-cream every 2 hours for 3-4 times to break up ice crystals as they form.

Recipe provided by Mike Lewis, Group Executive Chef at YO! Sushi who is working on a line of YOLO dishes.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.